Ski Utah Hires Blogger Athlete

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SAM Magazine - Salt Lake City, UT, November 21, 2006 - You've heard of them: Blogs. The web logs that are written by somewhat anonymous personalities about every subject under the sun. The best Blogs have become alternative sources of news and commentary, vaulting their authors into the limelight and providing valued insights. At their worst, Blogs merely waste bandwidth. After all, who really cares about the daily adventures of Aunt Martha's cat? Still, as resorts come to grips with new technology and the power of the Internet, Blogs can provide another weapon in the marketing war. And, if you have a Blog that combines the elusive combination of authenticity and mass appeal, they can become powerful voices for your brand.

At least that's the hope of Ski Utah, which has just hired big-mountain athlete Kent Hyden to pen a Blog about skiing in Utah this season. Hyden scored a respectable 10th at the 13th installment of Crested Butte's U.S. Extremes in 2004 and finished 3rd at the U.S. Nationals in Snowbird in 2002. He's also appeared on a wide variety of television shows including ESPN, OLN, RSN, Adrenaline TV and Park City Television. In other words, Hyden has the qualities of authenticity and communication/marketing savvy, qualities rarely found in itinerate ski bums and which make him perfect for one of the best jobs in skiing: traveling all over Utah this winter, going skiing, and blogging about how great it was for Ski Utah.

While this project remains in its infancy, it's worth keeping an eye on it, particularly if your resort is looking at spreading its message through new media outlets and you want to harness the power of the Internet to tell your story. The key to the success of this Blog will be Hyden's ability to reach out to skiers via the 'net and--with compelling prose and images-- keep them coming back. You can keep an eye on what he's up to by visiting \


yeah, an interesting athlete, to be sure

Hold on! I'm happy to take credit for what I write, and if you have a problem, yeah, post it here and copy me. In this case, must agree with Skier Bob. I'll give props to Hyden. Snowbird is a pretty intense comp. But as anyone who has witnessed the Crested Butte comp, there's a huge home-town advantage in big-mountain comps. You'd have to discount Hyden's 3rd place finish on account of that (how many CB podium finishers who are locals end up doing well on the North American tour or, for that matter World Tour. Few, if any).

Cool idea though.


firsttime writer? firsttime ipod owner? first time, what?

Interested by the comments of firsttimewriter, i decided to check out what ski utah was doing. pretty lame, actually. why? because said blogger isn't getting paid. the phrase "you get what you pay for" comes to mind. having a, well, honestly, second rate big-mountain athlete do this for free isn't marketing. it's a scam by said big-mountain athlete to ski for free. (do you really think their targeted audience will connect with a no-name like Hyden? get real, you need to get out of the office more. Tanner Hall, yes. McConkey, yes, Hyden, NO). Nice scam for him, but if ski utah wants to get serious with their on line marketing they need to pay professional content providers to provide, yes, compelling content. The only person who is out of touch here is firsttimewriter, who really doesn't seem to understand what compelling content is. Or marketing for that matter. . .
BTE, does Hyden even compete anymore? or is he just a ski model? A blog by a ski model? great way to connect with Gen X and Y. NOT!!!!


Ouch! We obviously read your post with great interest. And we do have to differ on a couple of points, while we will learn from others.

First, SAM does not have a disdain for marketing. Quite the contrary, we devote pages and pages to the subject. From web reviews to vanity magazine reviews to blogs to print advertising, we are VERY interested and excited about the world of possibilities in getting our message out to the consumer.

And while blogs are nothing new, we do appreciate a state-wide effort to hire a single, authentic voice to get the word out. We are not mocking it, we are applauding it.

And, about those iPods, what on earth are those? ;)

Thanks for being a longtime reader.

Wow.... you guys are out of touch

"You've heard of them: blogs." Wow, what will you guys reveal to us next week, iPods? Your writer shouldn't be so quick to mock the adventures of Aunt Martha's Cat when the "legitimate" journalism he offers sounds just as dotty.

Once again, SAM's disdain for marketing comes through loud and clear. Ski Utah is trying to connect with customers in the way they actually consume messages, and all you guys can do is mock it, because you don't understand it.

This is clear from this bit of insight at the close of the piece: "The key to the success of this Blog will be Hyden's ability to reach out to skiers via the 'net and--with compelling prose and images-- keep them coming back." That is simply the definition of online content, and it tells us nothing about what would make this project successful. Did you guys even bother to talk to Hyden or Ski Utah to get their opinion?

SAM is still the big gorilla in the ski resort info space. When will you hire someone who knows a thing or two about marketing?